Return, Reload and Relaunch...

The Bohlenders are performing what pilots call a TGL - a touch and go landing. We hit MCI last night around 9:30pm and will head to Church at the Gate around 4pm today. In between we'll do laundry, do any last minute prep (?), some Daniel Academy stuff, and I've got a full slate of meetings (9am, 9:30am, 11:15am, high noon, 2pm...). The highlight of returning home was to pull into the driveway at 10:30pm to find Grayson standing in the middle of the yard waiting for us - and so excited that he started doing jumping jacks! It was awesome! Oh yes - and Zoe said her first word at 35,000 feet somewhere over western Kansas: "Mmmmmmama."

While we've been gone, my man Jason swiped the Suburban for a few days and returned it with the most amazing little addition...in my glove box is an iPod doc that plugs directly into the Kenwood cd deck in the dash. It charges my iPod and allows me to play it through the sound system...and even lets me control the iPod from the deck in the dash! I now have an 8,000 lb, V8, 60 gig iPod. This is going to make driving across Nebraska next week a whole lot nicer as I can listen to anything on my iPod rather than the Corn Report on local radio.

Our time at ICLV was wonderful. Heidi Baker spoke....she told of the illness last year that nearly took her life. At her lowest point, she prayed "God, I will be a martyr for you - if someone puts a gun to my head, I won't deny you and I'll gladly go a martyr, but I won't go sick....". Another snippet from my notes of her sessions - "God is looking for people who really believe who they are". Bill Johnson also spoke - great stuff.

I can't say enough about the hospitality, class, and fun that is inherent at ICLV. Their staff exudes warmth. They are major networker/includers. The standard staffer greeting at ICLV is "Hey! Good to see you! Are you good?" And if you're not good, they'll fix it. For real. We also made some new friends among their network of churches.

Our hotel was on the west side of town, where there desert rises to the edge of a mountain range. The higher elevation plus being on the ninth floor gave us a view to the east across the valley - we could see the entire Strip, from the Mandalay Bay on the south end to the Space Needle on the north end. Past the Mandalay we could see the McCarran Airport, with it's constant four jets in holding waiting to land

The last night we were there, I sat for a bit with the lights off, my feet up, staring out across the city and praying about TheCall Las Vegas. Sitting there with my iPod providing a soundtrack, I had a very real sensation of the epic story that has been written in the forward books of history.

The vastness of the desert has always been sort of a spiritual set-up for me. Some of my most intense encounters with the Lord happen there...from Burning Man to Las Vegas. It's linked to the sense of smallness that comes in the desert - even in Las Vegas.

From my vantage point that night, I could see miles of desert in both directions from the city. Standing in front of the Bellagio it looks quite impressive...but once you get a little perspective, even when you're only five miles west of the very center of the city, you see that the neon edifice that man has built is easily swallowed by the blank slate that is the desert. You could put five Las Vegas' out there and it would still be a big, empty place...and the questions of life would be the very same there that they are on a dry lakebed in the north of the state.

Situations change rapidly People change slowly. God changes not. At the end of my days, I want to be building on That Which Does Not Change.


javamamma said...

Hey, driving across Nebraska isn't soooo bad. Generally, no one gets motion sickness. And the corn fields are amazingly green right now.

Earl and Bev Rutledge said...

Thanks for the reminder on change. We humans as a whole don't like to change, but wish others would change and fast.

Thankfully our greatest promise is God's character and person is always the same.

Thanks for the reminder.

Victoria said...

Thank you for reminding me the simplicity of it all. God is big and we are small...he really is in control...despite all my attempts.

Esther Irwin said...

Drop down to Kansas to drive; it has better views than Nebraska. And probably in August with hot temps and no rain (just remembering this, don't know for sure) it probably looks like that desert you are fond of - dry and brown.